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Evaluating coasean bargaining experiments with meta-analysis


Author Info

  • Tyler Prante

    (PhD. Candidate, Dept. of Economics, University of New Mexico)

  • Robert P. Berrens

    (Professor, Dept. of Economics, University of New Mexico)

  • Jennifer A. Thacher

    (Assistant Professor, Dept. of Economics, University of New Mexico)


While the Coase Theorem has been a touchstone for understanding bargaining behavior, it has also been criticized for relying on unrealistic assumptions. In response, a line of experimental research analyzes bargaining behavior in laboratory settings. This paper uses meta-analysis to evaluate the Coasean bargaining literature by modeling the probability of an efficient bargain as a function of: (1) measures of transaction costs and related variables, and (2) measures of the social dimensions of a bargain. Results suggest that efficient solutions are more likely when explicit transaction costs do not exist, in the absence of a binding time limit, and when participants have perfect information on payoff schedules. Social dimension variables are found to have the potential to affect bargaining outcomes and are an important avenue for further research.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

Volume (Year): 3 (2007)
Issue (Month): 68 ()
Pages: 1-7

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Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-07c90007

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Keywords: Coase Theorem;

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  1. Schwab, Stewart, 1988. "A Coasean Experiment on Contract Presumptions," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 237-68, June.
  2. Hoffman, Elizabeth & Spitzer, Matthew L, 1982. "The Coase Theorem: Some Experimental Tests," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 73-98, April.
  3. King, Ronald R., 1994. "An experimental investigation of transaction costs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 391-409, December.
  4. Prudencio, Yves Coffi, 1982. "The voluntary approach to externality problems: An experimental test," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 213-228, September.
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  6. Shogren, Jason F., 1998. "Coasean bargaining with symmetric delay costs," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 309-326, December.
  7. Todd Cherry & Jason Shogren, 2005. "Costly Coasean Bargaining and Property Right Security," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 31(3), pages 349-367, 07.
  8. Shogren, Jason F., 1989. "Fairness in Bargaining Requires a Context: An Experimental Examination of Loyalty," Staff General Research Papers, Iowa State University, Department of Economics 293, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  9. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-48, December.
  10. T. D. Stanley, 2001. "Wheat from Chaff: Meta-analysis as Quantitative Literature Review," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
  11. Messer, Kent D. & Zarghamee, Homa & Kaiser, Harry M. & Schulze, William D., 2007. "New hope for the voluntary contributions mechanism: The effects of context," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 91(9), pages 1783-1799, September.
  12. Usher, Dan, 1998. "The Coase theorem is tautological, incoherent or wrong," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 3-11, October.
  13. Rhoads, Thomas A & Shogren, Jason F, 2003. "Regulation through Collaboration: Final Authority and Information Symmetry in Environmental Coasean Bargaining," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 63-89, July.
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